Canadians Planning NOT to Retire In Canada?

I’m writing a chapter for my investment book, showing how portfolio allocations differ slightly for Canadians choosing not to repatriate.

I’m just looking for a quote that would make the book a bit more interesting.  For example:

Lisa Pizza and her husband Joey plan to retire to Phuket.  “We hate cold weather,” says Lisa, “and nobody in Toronto makes a decent papaya salad.” As such, they don’t feel the need for as much Canadian dollar exposure in their portfolio.  Instead, their investment account could look something like…  [then I add the rest].  

Any volunteers? Thanks!

Andrew Hallam

I’m a financial columnist for Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, as well as for AssetBuilder, a financial service firm based in Texas. I’m also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School and Millionaire Expat: How To Build Wealth Living Overseas. My mission is to educate, motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and best practices for investing, using evidence-based strategies. I'm happy to comment on your questions.

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9 Responses

  1. Kevin says:

    Our winters are harsh, but sometimes I feel like they can give a greater appreciation of the beauty and life of summer. That said though maybe at a certain age my bones just won’t be able to take the cold anymore. 😉

  2. Daniel says:

    I have been teaching overseas for 11 years now. I left to earn money to pay off student loans and get a downpayment for a house. Working and living in Canada was not getting me there fast enough. Now i look at housing prices and cost of living in western Canada. Good grief! I don’t know how the average Canadian worker can make it to retirement at all! I have seen much of the world now, and I do not think a cool half million will get me through too many years in Edmonton or Calgary. You would be crazy to even consider Vancouver! Look at Florida or Arizona. Belize or Costa Rica. Vietnam or Thailand. Beautiful housing, incredible food, affordable medical (except the US on that one)…all in an amazing climate and environment. No brainer really….isnt it?

  3. Thanks to those who came forward via the blog, facebook or direct email. I’ve found my people. Cheers, Andrew

  4. DanielR says:

    I’m new to this blog, but I’ve learned a tremendous amount and I wish to thank you, Andrew. I’ve been based in Dubai for most of the past decade. We tried going back to Canada three years ago, and encountered some serious reverse culture shock… so we’ve moved back to the UAE!

    If you’re planning to cover retirement away from Canada, the one issue I wish you’d expound upon is medical care. As we get older, this consideration can eclipse everything else. Are there real-life examples of Canadians who retired to say Vietnam and who enjoyed affordable and excellent care?

    Keep up the good work!

  5. Ian says:

    Hi Andrew,
    I look forward to the examples in your upcoming book. I often fantasize about going back to my home country but with my current work/education situation I find it difficult to go back unless I have something really solid to go back to job wise. I have heard about many people going back to the home country only to return to work abroad (partly due to not shedding their expatitis ways, to borrow a term from you, partly due to not having a position set up or place set up and partly due to the reality of living back home and what that entails). Consequently, I am wondering if I’ll return for retirement even or perhaps I will do like so many others and retire in a safe(relatively), cheaper cost of living country with good healthcare and awesome beauty. Look forward to the read.

  6. Dubaiteacher says:

    Hi Andrew, I’m a Canadian with an American wife. We have the bulk of our money in Canada but lately have been putting money into Vanguard in the US. I have become increasingly more frustrated with the 30% tax that Canada levies on my dividends. Do you know if there are any issues with transferring money (first selling the US assets, mostly Vanguard ETFs in my Canadian account) and sending it to Vanguard as the US does not tax dividends. Or should I just break free of Canada/USA altogether and do the offshore account?

    • Dubai Teacher,

      As a Canadian, you may want to consider the longer term ramifications of the money you are investing. As this money grows over time with Vanguard, you will pay capital gains taxes upon withdrawal. Instead, with your own money in your name, via an offshore brokerage, you wouldn’t pay ANY capital gains taxes. And by using Canadian domiciled ETFs, withholding taxes would be 15% on dividends, and you wouldn’t have to pay U.S. estate taxes upon death—something you would have to concern yourself with (at least one of you will) when using Vanguard USA. This might help: In short, this is a far better option than what you are doing.

      Hope this helps,


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